Uncaging the Lion

An excerpt from a wondrous message I heard today. It astounds me every time I realize that God’s Spirit is inspiring such marvelous messages all over the world and all the time and  in so many places and people.

The more the Internet connects us together, the easier it is to access these wonderful resources.

Anyway, so I don’t want to lose the confirmation of this message, so I’m jotting it down here to read again and again…

[begin excerpt:]

“All things were created through Him and for Him and in Him all things hold together…” (from Colossians 1:16-17)

Sometimes what you pick up in religious circles is that the job of a Christian is to take Jesus to a land or a people that doesn’t have Him, and then sort of deliver Him. Like, “Where do you want me to put Him?”

But Jesus is HEAVY.

Is witnessing, or sharing your faith, transporting Jesus — *grunt* lift with your legs, not your back — to some place: “Here is our Jesus.”

OR is He already, in some profound way, present in that place with that person, giving life? Is He not holding things together already and your job is simply to NAME that which is already real, true and present.

Is it Jesus over *here* and then all the people that need Him over *here*, or is He some way already present and your job is naming the reality that they are already in but they just haven’t recognized yet? Come on!

… How many of you, when you first met Jesus, coupled with your first encounter with Jesus was this realization that He had in some way been with you the whole time? You woke up to a life that had been sustaining you. It’s like you’d been asleep. And you woke up. You’d been blind and all the sudden, you saw. You had been ignorant, and all the sudden you became aware.

That’s how these first Christians wrote and talked about this Jesus, this power at the center of everything that was made known in its fullness when God raised Him from the dead.

[end excerpt]

— Rob Bell, in his message at Mars Hill, “Uncaging the Lion”

I’ve sensed the reality of this many times, but never quite connected the scripture and the experience this way, so I could put my finger on it. It can be so fundamentally at odds with the almost unmentioned background idea I’ve picked up in church, that people are lost and completely disconnected in all ways with God — and then at some specific point in time, they encounter the gospel and God shows up in their lives.

That somehow, God wasn’t involved before that. That every bit of “truth” they picked up before then is somehow tainted or not really true because they weren’t connected with God “back then”. That somehow, their spiritual gifts couldn’t have been in operation “back then”. That somehow, they couldn’t have been hearing from God or listened to His Spirit “back then”.

Erp! Wrong!

I like this Rob Bell guy. Heh.

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